Modern Lighting

Atmospheric lighting inside and outdoors

Nowadays, few householders leave the installation of lighting to chance, since this essential component of home furnishing is both functional and decorative. Good lighting can "warm up" a cold room, highlighting features like paintings and displays of china and glass, and softening the corners of large barn-like rooms. Just as significant as actual illumination is the nature of the light-fittings. For example, the 3 light ceiling light that might look out of place in one room may be ideal in another area.

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Types of lighting

Essentially, there are three styles of lighting classical, modern and traditional. Most styles of lighting are suited to areas with white-painted walls and neutral floors. Classic candelabrum with crystal pendants will add a baroque touch to the barest area. Select traditional Tiffany fittings with care, since since the bright colours of the lampshades may clash with other furnishings. modern lighting fittings range from the very plain to the very witty, for example, incorporating pendants shaped like stars.

Atmosphere and colour

Since so many householders regard the garden area as an extension of the interior, lighting the garden has become as important as indoors. Floodlighting, spotlighting and lanterns all have their place outdoors. A focus lamp will brighten up a seating area, while strip-lighting on walls will highlight brickwork, plants and other garden features. Ground-level lights can illuminate entire barbecue areas. Certain kinds of lighting have added heating function to facilitate outdoor parties. Stand-alone post lamps and carriage lamps add a rustic flavour to urban gardens. Deck lighting, miniature lights incorporated into wooden decking, is not only atmospheric but is also a safety feature along the edges of steps and ledges.

Beautiful solar lighting

The scope for solar lighting in the garden is without limit, and is suited to a wide range of light fittings. In addition to the traditional lighting described above, there are fairy lights for Christmas and for celebrating weddings. Many of these lights resemble small flowers and add a witty touch to a bush or tree. The solar lamp consists of a photovoltaic panel, a rechargeable battery and an LED lamp. During the day, natural light charges the battery. In the evening, the lamps switch on in response to the darkening sky. They remain illuminated in accordance with the amount of natural light absorbed.

Safety measures

There are obvious dangers involved in running power cords from a house to the garden. For permanent garden lighting, the safest option is to run electrical cables underground to an outside power box. Encased in concrete, they are safe from any kind of interference, from weather, pets and children. For lighting that is used infrequently, for example, Christmas lights, the homeowner can purchase a cord cover kit. These kits consist of tubes that cover the power cords. Wall-mounted cable organisers and baseboards are made with grooves into which cables can be inserted and lifted out of harm's way. The householder simply removes the organiser or baseboard when not in use. Overall, the key to successful garden lighting is using imagination to select from the vast range of available fittings.